When the South Came to the North and Neither of Them Smiled: a mamas advice

” Well darling, just smile. You look unpleasant when you don’t.”

“Really mama? Thanks.”

“Yep! No problem.”

Mama

My mama.

That woman can give some of the most simple yet effective advice in a ‘not a care in a world’ kind of way. She truly is a Southern woman through and through and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. So when I came to her to vent about me living in Upstate New York now I “ought to of known better” as she would say.

I understand that NO ONE was prepared for 2020. I mean 2020 was not prepared for 2020. But to move to Upstate New York two and half weeks prior to ‘the world ending’ now that was bad timing.

I closed the gap in a long distance relationship, packed, and moved to Syracuse, NY from Southern Pines, NC February of this year. I jokingly say that I fell for the biggest scam of it all; I fell for love. It got me! I uprooted my 13 yr old daughter and my 2 yr old dog and we went for it!!

Moving from a world you have always known is not easy within itself, despite Covid-19 going on. We were ready and prepared months in advice for the move between flying back and forth to us (my daughter and I) having in-depth conversations and weighing our options. I was ready financially, mentally, and all in between that you possibly could be.

The one thing that I did not take into consideration was… the culture.

That took me completely off guard. I came to realize that Southern hospitality truly is an essential part of the Southern culture. Duh, I know. But I did not consider that because it was always there. It is how people live, how they interact with one anther, who they are. It is who I am as a person, a woman, as a mama myself.

Now I do have to say that most people I have met so far have been really nice and thoughtful. If I had to use a word to describe the people up here, it would be…

guarded.

Back home everyone is automictically considered family. We accept you with open arms and our trust is given right off the back…until it is not than ‘God bless you’ and you are on your way.

I noticed with the people up here, they are a little more suspicious of you and a bit guarded until they get a feel for you. They’ll invite you in their circle, but they keep their eye on you. Distrust off the bat until they like you. All of this was new and to be honest it still is after 10 months of living here.

“Well darling, just smile. You look unpleasant when you don’t.”

That was it. That was the word of advice my mama had when I called. Even after I hung up the phone I kept shaking my head. Out of all the advice she could have given, that was it? Just smile? Of course I dismissed it and went on with my week.

I’ve been working on the front yard updating the plants and flowers. I didn’t see the man walking by at first. He always walks by our home on his daily walks. Sometimes I see him and sometimes I don’t. There have been times when I have seen him, I just ignore him and kept on working. In my mind I got things to do, but that day as he was passing by me he caught my eye.

That day I looked up, said hey, and then I smiled. That smiled has turned into me meeting a man who knows way too much about plants and flowers. It’s crazy his knowledge and I love it! He has been so helpful and intriguing to talk to… and I am so thankful that I smiled!

Thanks mama. That’s what I get for doubting you. ❤